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AAA Music | 28 October 2020

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JOHN ILLSLEY – Testing The Water

| On 15, Jun 2014

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English musician John Illsley was well known as bass guitarist in the legendary rock and blues band Dire Straits which sold over 120 million albums and toured the world extensively . He’s received numerous Brit, Grammy and Heritage Awards and has also developed a reputation as a painter. His last album Streets Of Heaven was released in 2010.

His latest and fourth solo album Testing The Water is released on 16th June, 2014 on Creek Records and distributed on Absolute via Universal. It was recorded and produced at A-Bay Studios and British Grove.

Delicate opener ‘Railway Tracks’ has intricate guitar work with a gentle flow, whilst the beautiful sounds of ‘When God Made Time’ seem distinctive and familiar. The song name is based on an expression John heard whilst touring southern Ireland. The moving ‘Run For Cover’ features some fine vocals with thoughtful lyrics and reggae inflected ‘Darling Heart’  has some dynamic rhythms.

In John’s new album you can certainly feel the influence of Dire Straits classic numbers. He says that “the last few years have been so turbulent politically, militarily and personally and I wanted to try and create some songs that reflected these strange times and perhaps were worthy of sharing with others.” John’s fine songs have a very personal and emotional feel and he adds “I was missing being in the studio and playing music seriously.” He was fortunate to have enormous support from quality studio musicians who helped give this album a very professional feel.

Anthony Weightman